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Orwell blogs for Newsnight

Paul Mason | 14:23 UK time, Wednesday, 30 July 2008

George Orwell's diaries are to be published as a blog. So in homage to the old "Tory anarchist" whose face still stares out, Orwellianly, from the BBC's intranet portal as I log on each morning, today's Idle Scrawl is written as an Orwell Diary entry...

Wed 30 July: The pre-revolutionary situation in the Labour Party continues. Overnight, Miliband has published a seemingly innocuous article about how LP could be less braggartly and more humble. Coded attack on Brown. Papers and Today programme full of this...

...On bus from Oval to Holborn today noticed tendency of young women to wear next to nothing during hot weather, combined with constant drinking of water. Very unlike Suffolk in 1941 or London during Blitz. Two possible explanations, viz this: a) defeat of feminism b) victory of feminism. Realise who disoriented am feeling in post-Blitz London.

Waterloo crushed with commuters with patient passive crowds of wartime proportions. No great rebellion over Brown among general population: in fact seeming indifference to politics. Taxi driver switched off Radio Four Woman's Hour interview with H Harman in favour of some kind of Quisling foreign radio station spouting a mixture of fascist propaganda and sports news, in surprisingly good demotic English.

At big offices of major company had to argue my way past security man: London companies now increasingly in shared buildings where instead of receptionist you have security men who have no feel for the class system and treat one lower than dirt unless one wears some recogniseable badge and "lanyard".

Remarked to X that, for the past few years, have had the feeling of waking up knowing more about what is about to happen in the world than any member of the Cabinet. Less to do with powers of prediction, but with the power to grasp what kind of world we are living in. (NB this para is actually a quote from Orwell's diary 8 June 1941).
Not surprised to note that House of Lords would overturn High Court judgment that Serious Fraud Office broke law in dishing the investigation into BAE.

Lunch at an Italian snack place in White City: Full of frightful BBC types. Remarkable how something called "risotto", which is effectively a mush of rice and bechamel sauce, can be sold for £3.95.

Phones now hot on question of Miliband. Seems like centre left in LP have 3 options, viz: persuade Cruddas to come out of purdah; support Straw as unity candidate; get behind Johnson to stop Miliband. Sure sign of trouble is various Brownite ministers (eg Y Cooper) now hitting studios to talk up Brown.

Day very hot. For some reason British summer temperature seems consistently hotter than in 1930s.

Interesting to note how political furore has built since Friday, with Brown speech at Warwick, Sunday papers and even P Toynbee wielding stiletto vs Brown on Newsnight did not spark real leadership challenge yet Miliband article now making all sides get ready for clog-fighting contest as seen in in northern coalfields, viz Wigan Pier.

Have attempted to light up roll up in pub which sells only wine and foreign food (eg risotto). Turfed out by security guard. Retreated to bookshop where, to astonishment literally millions of titles on display, all seemingly machine written to commercial formula: will use this in dystopian book about future of Britain if soul-less one-party dictatorship takes control and wins passive allegiance of back scratching poets and intelligentsia.

Pre-revolutionary situation continues.


  • Comment number 1.


    While I am full of respect for your heroic efforts to make economics interesting, I fear the worst. Incisive blogging of this quality deserves a wider audience. Good stuff.

  • Comment number 2.

    Am left contemplating the author ogling at girls from bus, sitting in a cab being made to listen to TalkSport, and scoffing at HoL ruling... priceless!

  • Comment number 3.

    It was Orwell doing the ogling - not me!

  • Comment number 4.

    Must investigate author's attempt at assuming multiple identities to cover his licentious pursuits and subversive contributions to capitalist pamphlets.

    Note to self: author's wife reads pamphlets?!

    The pre-revolutionary situation continues.

  • Comment number 5.


    I gather some Jack Dromeys are less equal than others? Did I hear Harriet say: if a woman reckoned that 'when he woke up he was going to kill her' then it was OK to kill him while he slept'? Is that (Wikipedia) stuff true about Harriet's kids all being 'Harmans' and Jack using the name sometimes too? Is this a leg-pull? When a feminist exterminates a bloke - is it hate crime? How did Harriet come by her view of men? No wonder no one told Jack about the loans fiddle - Harriet said not to tell him anything!
    If she becomes PM, we will all be discumbobulated in short order. Be very afraid guys!

  • Comment number 6.

    Orwells 1984 isn't a book anymore, it's Britain. Under Nu Labour, new laws have accelerated to 1,600 a year. No Totalitarian State in the world has as many spy-cameras or produced so many trivial laws to criminalise it's liberal law abiding citizens with.

    I've just read Jack Straws comments in a Lanchashire newspaper about "being harder on criminals". He fails to mention we are the ardest in Europe already with the longest prison sentances and sending more of our citizens to prison for equal crimes than anywhere in the world bar America.

    This is the 'hard line' to punish triviality when he shrugs his shoulders at Britains breeches of international law laid down after Nuremburg about pre-emptive strikes being illegal. A murderous war based on a cut and paste dossier that was intentional deceipt. And Tony and Jack promoted the so-called 'intelligence' chief after the scandal broke.

    Depite crime falling here (and worldwide) he promotes the police for doing a great job. The fact is police solving of crime is flat. They've less crime, more time to solve but they're productivity is declining. An even greater surprise when you consider how many spy-cameras there are to help.

    And we all love Jack for forcing off 60m pairs of shoes at airports, 40min cues and how much his national security policies work. It's a raging success isn't it?

    These Labour clowns are hated nationwide for their nanny State, hard line on pettiness and soft line on incompetance. They make national and global errors and nobody is softer on themselves than these hypocrites. Labour RIP.

  • Comment number 7.

    Forgot to mention the strange idea perpetrated on Women's Hour that when a woman says "No", she means "No". I'll have to stick to just looking.

    Great stuff, Paul (pun intended)

  • Comment number 8.

    Very amusing! Have to agree with Spanner though, Labour have brought 1984 into our lives!

  • Comment number 9.

    As the man himself might have said after his sojourn in Paris: plus ca change....

  • Comment number 10.

    Well done Paul. It's good to see that it's becoming more de rigueur to treat tories as the Trotskyites that they are.


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